Jan. 29, 2014
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Fans attending Saturday's Western Carolina women's basketball game against Furman, at 2 p.m. will find it easy to support the "We Back Pat game." Why? Because support can be show by wearing purple and both teams will be vying for purple supremacy. Purple is the awareness ribbon color for Alzheimer's disease awareness.
"I would like to encourage everyone to come out Saturday for our game against SoCon opponent Furman as we will be supporting an incredible cause in The Pat Summit Foundation as we host our "We Back Pat" game in awareness of Alzheimer's," said Western Carolina Head Coach Karen Middleton. "We all know the legendary Pat Summit and her impact on the game of women's basketball. Alzheimer's is a disease that has not only affected Pat Summit but touched many of us, including my family. Please join us, Pat Summit, and The Pat Summit Foundation as we continue to fight Alzheimer's together."
The game is part of a week-long initiative focused on bringing awareness and recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation and its fight against Alzheimer's disease.
A seven-time national Coach of the Year, Summitt coached the Tennessee Volunteers women's team for 38 seasons and is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history, male or female, with 1,098 victories. She won eight national titles and 112 total NCAA tournament games. Summitt also won 16 out of 32 possible SEC championships. Making her win total even more impressive was that nearly half (46 percent) of the 1,306 games she coached came against nationally-ranked teams.
Of the 161 players she coached all time, 72 percent went on to be decorated as Olympians, All-Americans, USA National Team members, All-SEC performers, Academic All-Americans or other honors.
At the age of 59 in August of 2011, Summitt announced that she was battling early onset dementia, "Alzheimer's Type." In November of that year, the Pat Summitt Foundation was launched. Despite Summit's announcement, the Volunteers responded by going 27-9 and winning the 2011-12 SEC championship.
Fans can donate to the Pat Summitt Foundation HERE and also learn more information on Alzheimers and the foundation itself.